What's behind the beauty world's love of ceramides?

By Julia Wray | Published: 12-Apr-2023

The barrier function-boosting molecules have featured in numerous new launches in skin care and beyond – we discover the secret to their enduring popularity

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Ceramides are everywhere; or, at least, everywhere in skin care.

Chanel’s January launch, N°1 De Chanel Rich Revitalizing Cream, which promises to combat signs of ageing and the damaging effects of cold weather, is based on camellia ceramides, while fresh’s Black Tea Advanced Age Renewal Cream contains both ceramides and squalene.

Anti-ageing brand Medik8 recently brought out Crystal Retinal Ceramide Eye in three strengths; Scientia Beauty Plumplex Cell Renewal Youth Serum’s formula includes ceramides alongside vitamin C-rich star fruit extract, ferulic acid and polyglutamic acid; and Green People’s new Nordic Roots Truffle Night Cream includes a moisture-binding blend of ceramides, hemp seed oil, cellular apple water and glycerine, supporting its hero ingredient of wild harvested truffle from Finnish forests.  

Beyond facial skin creams and serums, Korea’s Cosrx includes Lip Sleep – Balancium Ceramide Lip Butter Sleeping Mask in its recently released lip care range and, in February, Glow Recipe extended its Avocado Ceramide range with Avocado Ceramide Moisture Barrier Cleanser.

And ingredients suppliers have taken note of their customers’ love of ceramides. Specialty chemicals company Croda, in February, acquired Korea’s Solus Biotech, which specialises in the manufacture of ceramides and phospholipids.

In November 2022, fellow specialty chemicals company Evonik announced it had begun to manufacture commercial quantities of ceramides at its factory in Dossenheim, Germany to cater to growing demand for the ingredient in the personal care market.

So, what is it about ceramides that makes them such an enduring addition to cosmetics and what is fuelling this uptick in demand?

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